Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen took part in the Special Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) virtually held Wednesday in Colombo.
He led a four member Bangladesh delegation composed of Additional Foreign Secretary Md. Shamsul Haque (SAARC & BIMSTEC) and other officers.M The Foreign Secretaries and Senior Officials of all the seven BIMSTEC Member States joined the meeting. Bangladesh facilitated and supported the endorsement of a series of vital documents at the Special Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Official’s Meeting chaired by Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka.
The meeting considered and endorsed the Reports of the Third Meeting of the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working Group (BTCWG) held virtually in New Delhi, India on 08 December 2020 and the Fifth Meeting of the BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks (BNPTT) held virtually in New Delhi, India on 21 December 2020.
The meeting finalized the revised draft Provisional Agenda and the Joint Statement of the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting to be held virtually tomorrow. The meeting discussed on the convening of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and finalized the draft declaration. The meeting also endorsed the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity for approval and adoption by the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit respectively.
In the forum, Foreign Secretary stated that as the BIMSTEC lead country for Trade, Investment and Development, Bangladesh is committed to strengthen BIMSTEC cooperation in this important field.
The relevant Ministries and agencies of Bangladesh are ready to host all required meetings and events in this regard. In order to promote the areas of cooperation, Bangladesh proposed to host the 20th Meeting of the BIMSTEC Working Group on Rules of Origin (WG-ROO) and tourism related meetings to be held virtually in Dhaka this year.
He expressed that the implementation process of BIMSTEC cooperation in various sectors must be expedited on priority basis to harness quick dividends for our peoples in the Bay of Bengal Region through exploitation of the full potentials of this Region. COVID 19 Pandemic waged an unprecedented global crisis posing multiple challenges for us.BIMSTEC forum provides an excellent platform to combat the devastating impact of COVID-I9 in BIMSTEC region. BIMSTEC platform can be used in addressing multi-prong challenges in the Post-Covid-19 Era in a more effective and powerful manner if we can activate the Forum effectively and fully with our collective efforts, he added. The 5th BIMSTEC Summit is expected to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2021 subject to the COVID situation.